Tuesday, December 23, 2014

{photo diary} Venezia

Last month was a magical month where I decided to live the life I always dreamed - run away during my Birthday/Thanksgiving week and travel. The last few years I have seen far too many trips crumble before my very eyes because of changed work trips, or wishy washy plans with friends. But not this year! I figured having Italian roots, spending the holidays in Italia was 'close enough'.

Because I've become slightly burnt out during the week and turned into a lazy creative in my personal life, I am sharing a 'curated' collection of photos from my wanderings around Venice. Not that the other magnificent findings are not worthy of sharing, but because there is something magical about this city that is incomparable to anywhere else. 

10 years ago I was there with my group of girlfriends, but only for about 5/6 hours and I don't really remember what we saw other than a Dali exhibit and San Marcos. Was only there for about 24 hours this time, but saw the city a different way this time - was greeted by the Airbnb host at the water taxi (thank god bc I never would have found the apartment down the maze of alleys)... walked along the canal for a Spritz at a lovely bar in Hotel Metropole... had the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner at CoVino (the owner, who was also our server, had treats from his mom, so it was a family meal)... took in San Marco at night, lit up even more by the reflections bouncing off of the damp night rain... woke up to the sound of church bells and light coming through the windows... got a lil boozed up at Harry's (a Bellini for Hemingway and a stiff Negroni as the locals do)... and ventured off across the Rialto Bridge to scour a belly full of Cichetti at Cantina Do Mori (THIS was worth the trip). 

If a photo speaks one thousand words, the city of Venice must speak Billions of words and emotions to each passerby.

photos: Robin West

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{holidays} gift guide for him

Ok, now that we talked about what we want, let's talk shopping for the men in our lives. I have to say, I had it really easy growing up - my father is a music addict and all he ever wanted was CDs. There was a time that I would get a list of things to find, but since you could not find it anywhere, it turned into a gift card that he could explore with. I don't consider this lazy because it's something I knew he wanted, and something that always makes him happy. That IS the whole idea of gifting, isn't it?

So that was my foundation. And I have rarely needed to buy a guy in my life gifts as I usually ran away from them by the time the holidays came around. But what if you DO need to buy the special man in your life something? What if he has really good taste? And it's very specific? Or you just want to show him that you tried to surprise him with something that you think he'd appreciate?

Whether it's something small, something a bit fun, or something you both can enjoy, here's my roundup of dapper-approved items that will get you off the naughty list.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

{holidays} gift guide for her

I really believed that I was an easy person to shop for - I like so many different things, how hard can it be! Then I realized, looking through someone else's eyes, that not having a very specific style can be hard for others to pin point if I would like it or not. And I buy things for myself all too often when I want them. 

I was gifted a gorgeous Smythson Passport Cover for my recent trip abroad and it's one of my favorite things I've been given in quite some time. It's something that I've always wanted and desired, but something I never would have thought to buy myself on my own. This is really a "duh" realization and so obvious, but this year I'm trying to think in those terms as much as possible for the holiday season. 

How about some Le Labo parfum that has been made right in front of you? Or a monogrammed zipper case for the soon-to-be bride? Or a pair of badass sneakers with a special someone's initials on them (cough, cough, hint, hint). As we in the Advertising realm would say, a little "surprise and delight"!

Obviously, there are always those gifts that are a bit more extravagant and special and you can never go wrong with a nice bag or some fanciful jewelry. But, especially with a sister who is going to be changing her name in the coming months, I'm adjusting my radar to gifts that are a bit more personalized and things that someone would maybe not consider on their own. 

What's on YOUR list this year?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

{side by side} graphic shadows

image 1, 2

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{style} up against a wall

Every year I look for a specific type of black shoe - last year was a pump, the year before was a high boot - and every year I get SO aggravated at how impossible it is to find what's in my head. This year's casual/weekend ankle boot search was no exception, and I even allowed myself to look at higher priced designer options after a few weeks of coming up empty. It's truly mind-boggling that a $600 leather shoe can look and feel like cheap plastic, what's the point?!

I had given up hope, until I found myself walking by Zara during an after work errand run. I figured it was worth a shot since they do quickly 'copy' other luxury designs, and what did you know, I found myself with 5 different styles of black boots to try on. This motorcycle ankle bootie was the first one I tried on, and it was almost identical to what I was scouring endlessly for. Low enough heel for the weekend, and quality leather that I can pull them off at work.

Now, if I could only get away with wearing that hat at the offices...

Worth and Worth Papillon hat [was told it was to be discontinued, similar here]
Anndra Neen 'Two Tone' necklace, c/o Paire.us
J.Crew crew neck sweater [similar here]
Madewell blouse [similar here]
Levi's 535s
Zara Leather Bootie [similar]
Coach Willis bag
BCBG leather jacket [similar here]
Deborah Lippmann 'Modern Love' polish

Thursday, October 2, 2014

{beauty} before the runway

It sounds crazy, and the atmosphere backstage is literally crazy, but it's still one of my favorite places to be during Fashion Week. While it's an amazing experience to view the final look walking down the runway [billowing fabric, the lights hitting the models just right, and legs after legs after legs], for me, there is nothing quite like seeing things being brought together. There are the moments that you can, depending on the designer, get up close and personal with the pieces that give you a view to certain details and construction that a camera just can't capture. 

With that, seeing the models is a somewhat calming experience [unless they are running late from another show and get herded around like cattle]. Considering they have people pulling at their hair, and probing at their faces, they always seem take it in such stride. And there are a few moments, like the one I shared of Olga, that always leave me a bit mesmerizing. Here are some of those very moments.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

{runway} Eva Fehren Presentation


There are a few ways you can look at presenting a collection during Fashion Week. You can have a "traditional" runway show... you can decide to showcase the clothes in a presentation where models stand there, allowing editors and buyers alike to view each piece a bit more closely... or, you can go the route of Eva Fehren and showcase your collection for what it is... art. 

It's not often that you see a presentation that stands out, especially this September where it seemed like nothing coming down the runway was a new idea [if I see one more sheer dress/skirt silhouette with visible high waisted under garments, which wasn't even new last season,  I WILL scream]. A woman after my own heart [I have actually pitched this idea a few times over the years, wanting to see something like this], she went the route of displaying her jewels as a gallery.

Pieces of jewelry hanging perfectly in marbled frames, accented by a perfectly placed spotlight that created the most beautiful sparkles. Models, spending hours [and I mean hours] getting their hands and faces perfected by masters, so when it was time to walk behind the white sheet and carefully put their hands and heads through the strategically placed slits, they became the art. 

Looking at the images now, there's something about the emphasis on the models' beautiful faces that remind me of the 'hall of heads' in Return to Oz. Without that creepy factor, of course.

photos: Robin West
Eva Fehren Presentation, NYFW

Thursday, September 11, 2014

{beauty} Ola Rudnicka at Jason Wu // NYFW

Every year there is one single image from backstage that I fall madly in love with when going back into my camera, and this year is undeniably the beauty that is Ola Rudnicka. Her perfect [and I mean perfect] fair complexion, blue eyes, that platinum blonde hair, all complimented by that mustard sweater... I feel like it speaks way more than 1,000 words, no?

photo: Robin West for Deborah Lippmann
Spring Studios, Tribeca NYC